Monday, December 5, 2011

Back by Popular Demand :)

 I know it has been WAY too long since I have updated our blog!  I am sorry!  I do have a very good reason, but I will not reveal it in this post because it will take me some more time to put it together. 
However, we have so much to share and many of you have been faithfully checking for updates and I have disappointed you for too long, so I will do my best to update you on all the happenings one post at a time.  
But this post is about a very special blessing.  Yesterday, our church had their annual kids’ Christmas Pageant and our girls got to have a part in it.  Thanks to some very special friends and our wonderful Children’s Church Team, they even made it possible for Eliisa to have a part-and she exceeded all our expectations.  My faith is so small!  So, I wanted to share with you just HOW amazing our God is!  Enjoy!  Smile
And Eliisa stood up on that stage and enjoyed herself tremendously!  Just so you know how amazing that was:  Since she has been home she has NEVER stood anywhere for any length of time without complaining (unless of course she was playing with something!).
Even the donkey has to adore Baby Jesus. :)
Although this is a very busy time of the year, take time to celebrate the small blessings in your life and remember the real reason for Christmas! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Exciting Times

We have had some exciting times around our house lately, so I thought I should share before more exciting times come.  Smile  We had the privilege of visiting the emergency room of our Children’s Hospital four times in the past month!  (Yes, we are sooooooo lucky!  Smile)  And yet, through it all God showed Himself mighty, and we are blessed beyond measure! 

Before I share our exciting times, I want to take the time to share with you about a little boy that I had the privilege to meet while we were in the process of bringing Eliisa home.  This little boy had also already been moved to an older kids orphanage.  His orphanage is for kids through age 8, so it is not a typical “institution” like Eliisa was in.  The orphanage director also genuinely loves the children, and it is her desire to find homes for every one of them.  We got to see some of the kids perform for us, and it was truly one of the highlights of our trip to Eliisa’s country!  I would have loved to bring home one of these little boys in my suitcase!  Smile 

But this little boy we came to visit can’t stay there forever, and he is blind, which means that he will be facing the institution once he turns 8.  Eliisa’s country has absolutely no resources for the blind, not for children and definitely not for adults.  One day I will have the courage to post the pictures we took of the place where these children will go, but not today.  The orphanage director begged us to send her more items that would help her teach the blind children in the orphanage.  She has come up with several things on her own and spend many hours doing so, just so that the blind children in her orphanage would have the chance to learn.  The main reason we got to meet this little boy is because he had a family committed to him at the time of our travel, and they had sent us some things to bring him.   Thanks to our friend and missionary Max, we got that chance. 

DimaIMG_5299IMG_5302IMG_5307IMG_5319“Andriy’s” family has been working very hard on bringing him home and is now getting very close to receiving a travel date, and they are trying to raise the remaining funds they need to bring him home.  They are having a HUGE giveaway, (including an Ipad2).  Please prayerfully consider helping this family bring home their precious son, who I got to love on even for just a short time. 

So, why have we been to the emergency room four times, you ask?  Let me just share the short story.  Since bringing Eliisa home, we have seen many specialists to evaluate her and help us learn about her needs and how we can best help her.  We have visited the pediatrician, the Children’s Hospital, the neurosurgeon, the neurologist, the orthopedic, the ENT, the ophthalmologist, the audiologist, and she has been evaluated and started therapy with a physical, speech, and occupational therapists.  Every doctor told us that based on her circumstances, Eliisa was healthy, her shunts were working properly, and that it would just take time for her to learn all of what she was never been taught her whole life, for the medication she was on to work out of her system, and for her to recover from the very traumatic experiences she has had in her life.  I was, however, concerned that Eliisa had something that was causing her pain because there were days when she cried for hours.  Since Eliisa can not tell us, and we had no physical evidence of what was hurting, all we could do is keep digging.  We knew that the pain was coming from her right leg, but our thought was that it had to do with her right hip, and this is how we ended up in the emergency room three times with her.  The first two times, the doctors could not identify a cause for pain, and we were sent home without any official diagnosis.  But thanks to a radiologist, who chose to dig deeper after completing an MRI on Eliisa’s hip and brain, we finally discovered that Eliisa had a broken femur, and thus our third visit to the emergency room.  Neither the doctors nor we know exactly how she broke her femur, especially because it is an unusual break, but we have a couple of theories.They placed Eliisa’s leg in a cast from toe to hip, and almost immediately, she became a whole new child. 

IMG_6126However, she was still in pain whenever I moved her, so after two more trips to the orthopedic,  they finally placed her in a Spika cast which means that she now has a cast from her toes all the way up to her chest.  You can imagine what a pain that cast is, but if it means that her leg can finally heal properly, it is worth it.  She will have to have it on for at least another three weeks and then she will get another shorter cast to finish healing the femur.  We are so thankful to have found the cause for her crying, but it has definitely been a very tough time emotionally, physically, and spiritually in our family.  Of course, through it all Eliisa cannot understand why we are putting her through all of what she has to go through, and that’s the hardest part about it. 

We also got to make a trip to the emergency room with our youngest daughter, Ammadea.  While I was in the kitchen washing the dishes one evening, the girls were playing with each other and I heard a loud noise in Ellie’s room.  Since I did not hear any crying, I thought they had dropped something very heavy and I asked what happened.  Ellie came to tell me that Ammadea had fallen off the top bunk (where she is obviously NOT allowed to be!), and that is when I started running.  Since she was not crying, I knew that something was very seriously wrong, and when I saw her laying lifeless on the floor, it was decidedly one of the worst moments in my life.  I immediately called 911, and the fire department and ambulance came.  I asked the neighbors to come over and watch our other girls until our priceless friend, Wanda, could get to our house, and off in the ambulance we went.  During all that time, Ammadea never fully opened her eyes or responded to any questions I asked her.  It was very scary!  She was breathing when I found her, and I got her to start crying, but she would drift between “sleeping” and crying without ever opening her eyes the entire time that we were in the ambulance and at the hospital.  We are so thankful how the Lord watched over her, and that we got to go home late that night with the diagnosis of “just” a concussion.  She had a couple of very rough days after that, but slowly but surely, our Ammadea started coming back.  Praise the Lord for His protection over her and His goodness to us!  It was a clear reminder just how precious our girls are and how we have to make the most of every moment we get to have with each other. 

But we have also had some other exciting times, and since this post is already way too long, I will illustrate it in pictures.  We have been to the apple orchard and the pumpkin patch, visited the fair, gone on hayrides, and visited many other places.  We have celebrated six of our birthdays.  We have gotten to meet some other Reece’s Rainbow kids. We have watched Eliisa continue to make milestones.  And we have enjoyed the beginning of Fall. 




I will do my best to update more often again.  So, stay tuned as we have some more exciting days ahead of us.  Smile